Another place similar to CR?

Old Jun 6th, 2007, 10:02 AM
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Another place similar to CR?

Has anyone stayed somewhere other than CR that offers the same kind of lush landscape, waterfalls, etc. than can be found in Costa Rica? We're looking at future trips in case we decide to go somewhere else. We love CR, but we might want to give another place a go sometime. Thanks for any help you can offer.
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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Have you thought about Panama? We've been to CR three times now and enjoyed every trip - including the last one last month. But last year we went to Panama and just loved that too. Lots of diversity there - both in terrain and people! Great hiking/rainforest like experiences in many places - the beautiful mountainous area in north - Chiriqui - the wildlife filled area close to Panama City (Gamboa), a much nicer capital city - with lots of great restaurants and more to see than SJ. And we haven't even been to any of the interesting beach areas like Bocas del Toro, San Blas Islands etc.
If you're willing to spend the $$$ to go with Ancon Expeditions (and rough it a little) you could even experience the wilds of the Darien, like we did. But even not - Panama is a wonderful destination - and the canal is fascinating as well.
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 10:41 AM
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You might want to give Belize a try. Rio on Pools, 1,000ft waterfall, Rio Frio Cave plus incredible snorkeling or diving off the coast. Belize has its own ruins and you can get to Tikal in Guatemala very easily.

We have actually been to Guatemala twice recently. This Feb and the Feb before. It really is an amazing place. Antigua, Atitlan and Tikal are really incredible. We have been traveling to CR since the early 90's and are building a house there so we were looking for something else as well. If you get to Antigua, climb up Pacaya volcano. It had fresh lava flowing when we were there. People were up walking near it but we chickened out and stayed down below a little. Guat is a different kind of place than Costa Rica because they have such a strong cultural thing going that CR doesn't have although I love the people of CR. I did a trip report with a link to some pics taken over the two trips if you want to read it-Guatemala Revisited. We are planning on spending time in the Rio Dulce/Lago Izabal area next time and then travel down into Honduras. There are catamarans you can stay on for a few days and travel around on Lake Izbal. I read a trip report recently of a couple that took their honeymoon there and also went down the Rio Dulce to the ocean where they ended up on an Island off of Belize that just had 3 cabins on it for a few days.

I have read several good trip reports from people who have been to Morgan's Rock in Nicaragua. It is run by the same people who run Lapa Rios in CR. Philip who does the nature tour from Bosque del Cabo told me that the northern part of Nicaragua around Matagalpa is very nice.

There is a lot of great stuff to see out there. I have been to Europe 3 times, my husband has lived in Argentina and worked in several other countries down there and we are now concentrating together on seeing all of Central America. Taking our time doing it so we can get as much out of it as we can. We were in the northern part of Panama a couple of years ago. Boquete is a darling little town and the Coffee Estate Inn is very nice. January or Feb they have their huge flower festival because of all the wonderful flowers blooming everywhere. Cerro Punta has the Los Quetzales lodge and cabins in La Amistad. Cielito Sur is a very lovely place to stay in that area as well.

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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 10:48 AM
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glover, all those wonderful places in the southern part of Panama are on our list. They sound terrific. I am looking forward to settling into the new house and then being able to travel out from there. Once we are in feel free to use the guest room if you want to get to the Skutch place.
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 07:26 PM
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Thanks, everyone - we were thinking of Belize, Panama, and Guatemala. I was hoping there would be an overwhelming landslide for a particular place to make it easy on us! It is wonderful to have so many options though. We used to love Hawaii until we discovered CR, and now we've gotten hooked. It just offers everything we like to do, so it's nice to know there are other places that are just as amazing.
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Old Jun 6th, 2007, 08:04 PM
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How about Whistler in the summer? It's lush, located in a temperate rain forest, lots of hiking and other outdoor activities, and even has an amazing zipline course between the two mountains. And it's 20 degrees cooler.
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